The French President Nicolas Sarkozy has rounded off a major summit on the environment in Paris, by saying wants France to develop renewable energy beyond the targets set by European leaders. In his closing speech to an invited audience at the Elysee Palace, he said France must set an example in the fight against global warming.
“From now on,” he said, “every major public project, every public decision will be judged on its effect on climate, and on its carbon cost. Each public decision will be judged on how it affects bio-diversity. The onus won’t be on ecological decisions to prove their merit, but on non-ecological projects to prove they can’t be done any other way. Non-ecological decisions must be taken as a last resort. It’s a total revolution in the way we govern our country.”
The Nobel prize-winning environmental campaigner Al Gore used the French term “Grenelle Mondiale,” as he called for a world-wide summit on the environment. “Our challenge is to go far, quickly. We now need a “Grenelle Mondial,” where we can all go far, quickly,” he said.
Sarkozy also proposed a lower rate of VAT on environmentally friendly goods, and more taxes on goods from countries which do not respect the Kyoto protocol on the environment. And he added that although he will not abandon atomic power, he will freeze the number of French nuclear installations.